Governance Update: A Q+A with the Leaders of the 2024 Hyperledger Foundation Technical Oversight Committee
Governance is a cornerstone for open source community management and, ultimately, code. For Hyperledger Foundation, technical governance is the job of the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), which consists of 11 members of the technical contributor community elected annually by maintainers and Governing Board members. (See the Foundation charter for more on TOC elections). As a group, they steer the technical direction for the Foundation.
Their first task each year is to vote in a chair and vice chair. The 2024 TOC have, once again, chosen Accenture’s Tracy Kuhrt as chair and Arun SM as vice chair. Below, Tracy and Arun share their take on why they think it’s important to be technical leaders in this community as well where they see opportunities and challenges for the year ahead.
Q) Why do you value being part of the TOC and, more specifically, leading it?
Tracy: Being part of the TOC allows me to see all of the work that is being done in the Hyperledger community, from keeping up to date on the different projects to learning about what others in the community are interested in advancing. As members of the TOC, we get to see first hand the projects that are being proposed to the Foundation. As leaders, we help to ensure that the Foundation is meeting its mission to “Foster and coordinate the premier community of software developers building enterprise grade open source software, in the form of platforms, libraries, tools and solutions, for multiparty systems using blockchain, distributed ledger, and related technologies.”
Arun: Being part of the Hyperledger Technical Oversight Committee (TOC), and particularly leading it, holds immense value for me. It offers a unique opportunity to directly shape the development and evolution of enterprise blockchain technology. My leadership approach, cultivated through experience in guiding teams at work, prioritizes principles of clean code, defined processes, and inclusivity.
Within the Hyperledger community, I am committed to listening to diverse voices and prioritizing input from ground-level users and technology stakeholders. This collaborative approach aligns seamlessly with the ethos of the Hyperledger community, where inclusive decision-making drives progress.
Throughout my tenure as a Hyperledger TOC member and vice -chair, I have demonstrated a steadfast commitment to enhancing security, transparency, and processes within the community. I have led efforts to revive projects, foster contributions, and mentor newcomers, all of which underscore my dedication to the growth and success of Hyperledger initiatives.
Looking ahead, my focus remains on advancing security, streamlining infrastructure setup, and promoting adoption within the Hyperledger ecosystem. By leading the TOC, I aim to champion these efforts and further contribute to the thriving and inclusive Hyperledger community.
Q) How does your work shape the health and growth of the Hyperledger community? The project ecosystem?
Tracy: Last year, the TOC created a project annual review process as well as simplified the project lifecycle. Both of these items were done to help people better understand the state of the individual projects within the Hyperledger Foundation. As part of the annual review process this year, the TOC will be looking at the goals that are set up for each project and determine how best we might help the projects meet these goals. The TOC will be making recommendations for each project to better help the health and growth of our projects.
In addition, the TOC also has developed project best practices and GitHub contribution guides, as well as a documentation template that can be used by any project looking to set up their project’s documentation. The TOC has also improved the security policy that we use for projects within the Foundation. The work was completed through a number of task forces run by TOC members and open for anyone to participate. This work is improving the ecosystem for maintainers and contributors to our projects.
The TOC will continue to look for ways that we can improve processes and develop guidelines that will make it easier to be a community member in the Hyperledger Foundation.
Q) What are some of the opportunities and challenges you see in the coming year?
Tracy: In a recent TOC meeting, we discussed opportunities that the TOC has said they would like to tackle this year. The following goals were suggested for us to work on:
- Continue ongoing work with task forces
- Documentation task force - summarized recommendations
- Security Artifact Signing task force - graduated projects should be using SigStore; OpenSSF presentation
- Automated Pipeline task force - complete best practices
- Badging task force - complete list of badges
- Determine ways to energize the task force work
- Determine if there is a Hyperledger mentorship that the TOC would like to submit
- Develop video content
- Short form videos
- Best practices for new maintainers
- Best practices for new projects
- Best practices for new contributors
- Solicit new projects
- Brainstorm ways to obtain more contributors and to remove barriers to entry
- Adopt CNCF org control for adding new maintainers
- Increase education on dependency management best practices
- Move decisions and discussions to asynchronous communication
The TOC hopes that we can interest others in the community to participate in the task forces and the work that we are doing. Everyone is welcome to join and participate in the TOC call that is held weekly on Thursdays at 7:00 AM US/PT.Q) What technologies would you champion to bring into the Hyperledger landscape?
Arun: In the dynamic realm of technological advancement, I advocate for the integration of several cutting-edge technologies to enrich the Hyperledger ecosystem. While acknowledging the burgeoning trends in large generative AI models, I envision leveraging AI to augment the capabilities of the Hyperledger community. Firstly, the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain presents boundless opportunities. Additionally, I recognize the immense potential in intertwining blockchain with the Internet of Things (IoT), as this union can fortify data security, transparency, and trust within IoT ecosystems. By championing this fusion, we can secure edge frameworks and address critical gaps in IoT security. Moreover, in response to the pressing need for scalability, I advocate for the adoption of scaling solutions such as Layer 2 technologies like roll-ups. These solutions offer the promise of bolstering transaction throughput and minimizing latency without compromising on the core tenets of security and decentralization.
Furthermore, the imperative for interoperability cannot be overstated, as it is fundamental for facilitating seamless communication and data exchange between disparate blockchain networks. By championing interoperability frameworks, we can enhance connectivity and collaboration within the Hyperledger ecosystem, fostering a more robust and adaptable infrastructure. Lastly, streamlining the setup, deployment, and management of blockchain networks is paramount for widespread adoption. I believe in seizing opportunities to simplify these operations through the development of user-friendly tools, automation solutions, and standardized deployment methodologies. By embracing these technologies and initiatives, we can propel the Hyperledger ecosystem into a new era of innovation, collaboration, and impact.
Q) Where do you see growth ahead for the enterprise blockchain market?
Arun: The growth trajectory of the enterprise blockchain market is poised for significant expansion, particularly within the FinTech domain. This sector has already experienced substantial growth, driven by a growing demand for innovative and secure financial solutions in emerging global economies. This trend is expected to continue as more regions seek to enhance financial inclusion and develop robust digital infrastructures. Moreover, the proliferation of regulations worldwide, particularly around regulated items and high-value assets, as well as initiatives like carbon footprint tracking, will fuel further adoption of blockchain technology. Additionally, the optimization of trade finance opportunities through blockchain solutions will contribute to market growth. Notably, the public sector is also expected to increasingly embrace enterprise blockchain technologies to address various challenges and improve service delivery. Overall, the enterprise blockchain market is poised for continued expansion across diverse sectors, driven by a convergence of regulatory trends, technological advancements, and evolving market demands.
Here’s the full list of the 2024 Hyperledger Foundation TOC:
- Marcus Brandenburger
- Stephen Curran
- David Enyeart
- Tracy Kuhrt, Chair
- Yacov Manevich*
- Matt Nelson*
- Venkatraman Ramakrishna
- Arun S M, Vice Chair
- Peter Somogyvari
- Conor Svensson*
- Jim Zhang
* New 2024 committee members
The TOC meets weekly, and all are welcomed to join the conversations. To get the details on TOC calls and communication channels, go here: https://wiki.hyperledger.org/display/TSC/Technical+Oversight+Committee+Home